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Thursday Roundup

Story of out of yesterday's practice seems to CB Michael Norris. Norris got injured during the scrimmage last Saturday, which led the coaches moving true frosh. McGee and Ramirez to an already think secondary unit. Today, it looks like mixture of bad news/good news from the morning papers.

First, the bad news. OC Register's Robert Kuwada reports that Norris has a partial tear of the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. DeWayne Walker doesn't seem too concerned though:

"I'm used to it," Walker said. "In the NFL, you have four cornerbacks or three that are real good and a fourth guy you hope you don't have to play, so this is the norm for me. We'll have a damage control package if something happens. But what I'm concerned with is that those guys keep going. I'm not going to panic because I've been there and I've got some other ideas."
That's the exact attitude we need. Not make excuses out of injuries.

Lonnie White from the LA Times reports with more of optimistic outlook on the situation reporting good prognosis on Norris and that he may be even ready for the Utah game:
"It's feeling a lot better, and there's no surgery required or anything like that," said Norris, who played every game last season as a nickel back and on special teams. "The good news is that it did not swell up that badly and I can bend it."

Norris, a valuable player for the Bruins because of his versatility and coverage skills, suffered the injury when he returned an interception in Saturday's scrimmage. Norris continued to play but knew he was injured and had tests done on the knee Monday.

"It's going to take some time to get the swelling down, but there's an outside chance that he may be ready to go [Sept. 2]," Coach Karl Dorrell said about Norris. "We'll see how things react at the end of this week and next week."
I think there is no reason the coaches should rush him back for the Utah game (even if he wants to get in). If they can they should seat him out for both the Utah and Rice games, and then take advantage of the bye week to slowly work him into the Washington games. Dohn agrees. No big whoop.

Dohn has more good news from the injury front. TE Ryan Moya is back in practice and may be positioning himself for major time (if not for the starting spot). It was Paulsen who was coming along during the training camp. But now that Moya is back and apparently healthy, this will give UCLA some options at the TE spot.

We will end with a note on our first opponent. By now you know Utah has named a starter for September 2nd: Senior Brett Ratliff. To see what Mr. Ratliff can do to opposing Ds you may want to check this out:

He has wheels. The UCLA defense better be ready. Utah is going to be a great test for our new DC DeWayne Walker. All the feel good stories we have been hearing for last few months - we will see how it plays out on the field on September 2nd. We are going to go up against a savvy, balanced offensive team, with a senior QB, who led them to wins over their arch rival (BYU at Provo (highlights above)) and then that win over Georgia Tech. They are not going to be a pushover, but this should be a win. We should expect our DL to hold firm, and then work with the LBers to put pressure on Ratliff, disrupting the Utah offense. Because if we don't, it may turn out to be not only a long Saturday, but a long, painful football season, again.